In line with the commitment to reinstate the international Rhodes Scholarship for students in Nigeria, Ghana and other West African countries, Ike Chioke, Managing Director of Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited and a Rhodes Scholar, has been appointed as the Rhodes National Secretary for West Africa. Also named Strategic Adviser for the sub-region is Tope Folarin, award-wining writer and a former spokesperson for Google.
The appointment of both men was confirmed in a statement signed by Charles Conn, Chief Executive Officer of The Rhodes Trust and Warden of Rhodes House in Oxford, United Kingdom.
The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting exceptionally bright students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the oldest and the most prestigious international scholarship programme in the world, which aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the world’s future.
On the choice of Chioke as National Secretary for West Africa, Conn remarked: “For many years Ike has been such a strong supporter of the reinstatement of the Rhodes Scholarship for West Africa. That, coupled with his knowledge of Nigeria, Ghana and the entire sub-region, makes him the standout choice for the role.”
“His sterling reputation, deep insight, vast network and unwavering commitment will, no doubt, be very crucial as we implement together the important mission of reinstating the Rhodes Scholarships for exceptional students in West Africa.”
On Folarin’s appointment, the Rhodes CEO stated: “Tope is a highly motivated and hardworking individual who is very passionate about development in Africa. His creativity, tremendous organizational ability, contagious energy and relentless drive will also be vital in advancing the programmes of the Rhodes Trust in the region.”
As part of the new role, Chioke – with support from Folarin and other esteemed members – is overseeing the region’s Scholar selection process, which will see one remarkably brilliant student from the West African sub-region get full funding to study at Oxford University in the September 2018 academic session. Over time, the Trust seeks to endow up to three Rhodes Scholarships for the region each year to ensure that they exist in perpetuity.
Ike Chioke is a First Class graduate of Civil Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and he holds an MPhil in Management Studies from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is a renowned investment management expert with a sterling career spanning 25 years.
Tope Folarin graduated from Morehouse College, USA with a B.A. in Political Science in 2004. He attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Galbraith Scholar before proceeding to study at the University of Oxford – also as a Rhodes Scholar – graduating in 2006 with an M.Sc. in African Studies and an M.Sc. in Comparative Social Policy. In 2013 he won the Caine Prize for African writing for his short story ‘Miracle’.
Established in the Will of Cecil John Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s most preeminent post-graduate scholarship scheme, and it has been providing transformative opportunities for exceptional young leaders from around the world for 115 years.